How to Use a Hori Hori Japanese Gardening Knife

How to Use a Hori Hori Japanese Gardening Knife. In this article, you’ll learn all about the Hori Hori Japanese gardening knife and how to use it. Presented by Garden Ninja, Lee Burkhill, an expert in garden design and a well-known blogger, this video guide will show you the various uses of the Hori Hori knife. From getting rid of pesky perennial weeds to digging rows for sowing seeds, this versatile tool is a must-have for any gardener. Burkhill also demonstrates how to clean around roots and use the knife for planting bedding plants and plug plants. The concave blade of the Hori Hori makes it easy to dig out drills and lift small amounts of soil. Burkhill also explains the different types of blade edges and provides tips on cleaning and storing the knife. If you’re interested in learning more about garden design, be sure to subscribe to Garden Ninja’s YouTube channel for plenty of design tips and hints. Happy gardening!

How to Use a Hori Hori Japanese Gardening Knife


Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to effectively use a Hori Hori Japanese gardening knife. If you’re a gardening enthusiast or someone who simply enjoys spending time in their outdoor space, this versatile tool is a must-have addition to your gardening equipment. In this article, we will explore the various uses of the Hori Hori knife and provide detailed instructions on how to make the most of this incredible tool.

Getting Rid of Perennial Weeds

One of the primary uses of the Hori Hori knife is for removing perennial weeds. These stubborn plants can quickly take over your garden, causing harm to your desired plants if left unattended. The sharp, serrated edge of the Hori Hori knife allows you to easily cut through the roots of these weeds, ensuring complete removal. To effectively remove perennial weeds, locate the base of the plant and carefully insert the blade of the Hori Hori knife into the soil at an angle. With a gentle twisting motion, loosen the soil around the roots, making it easier to pull the weed out from the ground. The Hori Hori knife’s sturdy construction and sharp edge make this task a breeze.

Digging Rows or Trenches for Sowing Seeds

When it comes to sowing seeds, creating rows or trenches in the soil is crucial for proper seed placement. The Hori Hori knife’s sharp edge is ideal for this task. Begin by preparing the soil, ensuring it is free from any weeds or debris. With the Hori Hori knife in hand, simply press the blade into the soil and glide it along, creating a neat row or trench. The depth can be easily adjusted by angling the blade differently. This method ensures that your seeds are planted at the appropriate depth, allowing for optimal germination and growth.

Cleaning Around Roots

Maintaining healthy plants often involves cleaning around their roots. Whether you’re transplanting or simply tidying up your garden beds, the Hori Hori knife proves to be an invaluable tool for this task. Gently push the blade of the knife into the soil, near the base of the plant. With a careful sawing or slicing motion, remove any excess soil or debris around the roots. This enables your plants to absorb nutrients and water more efficiently, promoting their overall health and growth.

Planting Bedding and Plug Plants

When it’s time to transplant bedding or plug plants into your garden, the Hori Hori knife helps ensure a smooth and successful transition. Start by digging holes in the soil that are deep and wide enough to accommodate the rootball of the plant. The Hori Hori knife, with its pointed tip, easily cuts through the soil, making this task a breeze. Once the hole is ready, carefully lift and place the plant into the hole, ensuring that the rootball is sitting at the appropriate depth. Gently backfill the hole with soil, using the Hori Hori knife to compact the soil around the plant if needed. This method promotes strong root development and encourages healthy growth.

Using as a Quasi Trowel

The Hori Hori knife serves as a fantastic alternative to a traditional trowel. Its flat, wide blade creates a stable surface for digging and scooping soil. This versatility is particularly useful when you’re working with smaller, confined spaces. The unique concave shape of the blade allows you to easily lift and shift small amounts of soil without disturbing surrounding plants. This makes the Hori Hori knife an ideal tool for tasks such as transplanting, potting, and dividing plants. With its comfortable grip and sharp edge, the Hori Hori knife provides excellent control and precision when working in tight areas.

Cleaning and Maintenance

To ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your Hori Hori knife, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. After each use, take the time to clean the blade thoroughly. Rinse off any dirt or debris under running water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth. If there are stubborn stains, a cleaning block can be used to gently scrub away grime. Additionally, it’s important to regularly inspect the handle for any signs of wear or damage. If necessary, lightly sand or apply linseed oil to maintain the handle’s integrity. Proper cleaning and maintenance ensure that your Hori Hori knife remains in optimal condition for years to come.

Convenient Pouch and Clip

The Hori Hori knife often comes with a convenient pouch and clip, providing easy storage and accessibility. This pouch is specifically designed to fit the Hori Hori knife snugly, preventing any accidental damage. Simply slide your Hori Hori knife into the pouch and secure it with the clip. This pouch can be attached to your belt or tool belt, allowing you to have your trusty tool by your side at all times. The pouch and clip provide peace of mind, knowing that your Hori Hori knife is safe and within reach whenever you need it.


In conclusion, the Hori Hori Japanese gardening knife is a versatile and essential tool for any gardener. Its sharp, serrated edge and sturdy construction make it ideal for various tasks such as removing perennial weeds, digging rows for sowing seeds, cleaning around roots, planting bedding and plug plants, and using it as a quasi trowel. With proper cleaning and maintenance, the Hori Hori knife will serve you well for years to come. Its convenient pouch and clip add even more value, ensuring easy storage and accessibility. Invest in a Hori Hori knife, and you’ll experience the joy of a well-maintained garden with ease and efficiency. Happy gardening!

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Written by Kelly Kennedy

I'm Kelly Kennedy, the author behind Japanese Garden Craft. As a lover of Japanese gardening, I've dedicated myself to cultivating knowledge and sharing it with others. With a focus on providing in-depth reviews and insights, I aim to be a comprehensive source for all things related to Japanese gardening tools and techniques. Trustworthy reviews of various tools, from essentials to specialized items, are created by experts in the field. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned landscaper, my instructional content covers everything from the basics to advanced techniques. Let's embark on a journey to create your own serene Japanese garden together.

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